Welcome to Erik’s site. Please sign in to show your support.

Journal

January
18
2019

Clarifying my final weeks

Yesterday, I had a bone marrow biopsy to see if there were any prospects at all of a rejuvenation of my bone marrow.  Alas, there is not. My bone marrow is virtually empty and what cells are there are to a significant extent blasts.  Dr. Michaelis told me that even if we were to wipe out the remaining blasts, I would be far too weak to even attempt another transplant.  A transplant is off the table, and a transplant was always the only prospect for a cure. The only thing that's keeping me alive right now are blood transfusions of red blood cells and platelets.  All of my platelets and all of my red blood cells come from donors, from ordinary blood donations. Unfortunately, the way this disease works is that gradually my liver especially, to use Dr. Michaelis' expression, chews up these transfusions, and you get increasingly less benefit from any given unit of blood.  And at some point, no benefit whatsoever.  You get a unit of blood, but your hemoglobin will not rise.  And when that happens, you basically cannot sustain life any longer.  So the scenario is basically when you approach that period--it doesn't happen abruptly, it happens over the course of days and weeks--you sleep more and more, your body is getting less and less oxygen, 15 hours a day, 18, 20, 24; you're not in a coma, you can be roused, have sweet words of love, maybe even more extended human communication than that.  But then eventually you just begin to sleep all the time and, I assume, fade away.  That would be the AML equivalent to dying in your sleep.  You just, at one point, sleep 24 hours a day and don't wake up.  But there are other potential scenarios as well.  I have two infections, both of which could kill me, and those could blossom out of control and kill me one day to the next, blindsided.  The doctors are doing everything they can to manage the infections and I feel my fevers are under control and that basically that's not likely to be the way that I die. But who knows. Maybe I'll be surprised.  Marcia will update everybody when the time comes.  

    So, dear friends, what we've known for a while is in fact the case.  I have a very limited time left in this marvelous form of stardust which I've been talking about over the past few months. I don't feel any dread.  I want to assure you that I don't feel fear about this.  It seems very petty to complain about the eventual dissipation of my stardust back into the stardust of the cosmos after having lived 72 years in this extraordinary form of existence that very few molecules in the entire universe get to experience.  Indeed, to even use the word experience with respect to my stardust is amazing.  Atoms don't have experiences.  They're just stuff.  That's all I really am is stuff.  But stuff so complexly organized across several thresholds of stuff-complexity, that it's able to reflect upon its stuff-ness and what an extraordinary thing it has been to be alive and aware that it's alive and aware that it's aware that it's alive. And from that complexity comes the love and beauty and meaning that constitutes the life I've lived. And to top it off, I'm in this massively privileged corner of this human stuff that's managed against all odds to not live a life of fear and suffering from the cruelties of our civilization, that has never felt the fear of hunger, the fear of bodily insecurity in my neighborhoods, that has had the resources to raise my wonderful family, my children, in an environment where I think they too have felt physical security and the basic things you need to flourish.  So there you have it.  I am among the most advantaged, privileged, call it what you will, stardust in this immensely enormous universe for 72 years.  And so it will end.  But I knew that, at least from age 6.  This is a few years earlier than I'd hoped, but no complaints.  No complaints.  And I suppose, to carry on this reverie a little bit longer, I suppose to top it all off, sometime in my late teens to early twenties, I decided to take advantage of this extraordinary privilege that I had, not to live a life of self-indulgence but to create meaning for myself and others by trying to make the world a better place.  The particular way in which I did this of course is historically bounded by the intellectual currents and turmoil of the late 60s and early 70s.  I don't think that means it should be thought of as merely an effect of that historical moment. I think my dogged attempt to revitalize the Marxist tradition and make it more deeply relevant to social justice and social transformation today is grounded in a scientifically valid understanding of how the world actually works.  But without being embedded in a social milieu where those ideas were debated and linked in both sensible and misguided ways to social movements, I would never have been able to pursue this particular set of ideas.  But I was enabled, and it's made for an incredibly meaningful and intellectually exciting personal life. So no complaints. I will die in a few weeks, fulfilled.  Not happy that I'm dying, but deeply happy with the life I've lived, and the life I've been able to share with all of you.

One final thought on this meandering theme: in November of 2015, I was hit broadside by a car while biking.  It would have taken very little change in what actually happened to turn this from a significant injury into a death, from one moment to the next I could be here and gone. People sometimes speculate on what's the best way to die: suddenly or in your sleep, bang you're dead; or drawn out over an extended period of time.  For me the answer is unequivocal: the death I'm having is the death I would choose.  but there's one other little nuance of this way of dying that I didn't really understand beforehand.  Often when people talk in a medical context about dying, when the context is the kind of death I'm dying, drawn out, people talk about the trade off between quality of life and extension of life.  Well, what I've come to realize is that when you're really sick, when the pain of your illness takes over your life, or even when, as was the case last night I had uncontrollable and really hurtful coughing that kept me up most of the night, when you're no longer in your body in a comfortable way, that's not just a question of quality of life, that is a question of life. Five weeks of living the way I felt last night when I was coughing uncontrollably is not just some trade off with two weeks of living without it.  Five weeks of living like that is not living.  So I've told the doctors that from here on out, my priority really is comfort.  Not being drugged so that I'm loopy and just feeling physically comfortable, I want to be mentally comfortable too.  I want to connect and be able to continue writing this blog til the end.  But my priority is to be present.  And then let the length be what it is.  It will end soon, hopefully it will last as long as possible, but only in the context of being truly alive.

Help Erik Stay Connected to Family and Friends

A $30 donation to CaringBridge powers a site like Erik's for one month. Will you make a gift to ensure that this site stays online for them and for you?

Comments

  • Derek Nystrom : A friend of mine shared this post with me, knowing that I had been an undergraduate student of yours back in 1991, when I talked my way into your year-long Marxist Sociology grad seminar (team taught with Joel Rogers). My friend knew this fact about me because I spoke of that class often, as it was so crucial to my own intellectual and political development. I am now teaching seminars on Marxist theory myself (Marxist literary and cultural theory, as I ended up becoming an English professor). I don't know what else to say; I just wanted to offer you another data point indicating how successful your writing and teaching have been in extending and expanding the liberatory power of Marxist thought and practice. I consider myself tremendously lucky to have spent time learning from and with you.
    1/23/19
  • Youbin Kang : Thank you Erik.
    1/22/19
  • paula mulinari : Dear Erik. You’re critical and at the same time optimistic Marxism has shaped many of us. In Sweden, the Left Party, as well as the Youg Left, class analyses is to a huge extend influenced by your. Your class analyses has therefore been debated all over the county, in all from small basement where young activist first encounter the world of Marxism, and are given a language for things they have felt, to congresses, where we have tried to explore how your class analyses can be combined with an analyses of racism and patriarchy. We thank you, for creating theories that have we could translate to politics, and analyses of the everyday of capitalism. We will continue the struggle for the real utopias, and the right for all to share and experience them. The sprit of your work, enthusiasm for life and optimism will be with us.
    1/22/19
  • Lijun Song : Dear Professor Wright, I have not met you face to face but I have met you in your papers and books many and many times. Right now in front of me are three books you wrote. I am deeply saddened to read about your health condition. I would like to let you know that you and your family are in the thoughts of many and many people, people you know and people you do not know. Hug! Hug!
    1/22/19
  • Jeff Jones : I still,recall the excitement reading Class Crisis & the State with friends during my time in the late 70’s at Ohio State. Years later it figures you would again rise to the challenge in this final chapter. May we all be as strong as you...
    1/22/19
  • Maryam Ahmadi : Dear Erik, Words cannot express the unbearable grief I feel in my heart. Borrowing a poet's words, Of the moon all that’s left is a stain upon the window Of all the waters in the world this single drop on my cheek Thanks for everything, Erik! Warmest, Maryam
    1/22/19
  • Ian Stone : Erik, I'd just like you to know that I'm going to talk to my Sociology class about you tomorrow, and say to them that if everyone read writers like yourself the world would be a better place, and read a passage from The Sociological Imagination Ian
    1/21/19
  • Jorge Sola : Dear Erik, 
The news about your illness shocked and moved me. I only spent some months in Madison, where I joint your Class Analysis seminar. It was the fall of 2006. And then we met again in the two-week Real Utopias seminar you gave the following year in Berkeley, where I did another short-term visiting stay. But the mark you have left on me is immense. 
Since I read the post where you announced the closeness of the end, I have mulled over that: how is it possible that the misfortune of someone with whom you have had little personal contact affects you so much? Reading your blog posts and comments has allowed me to feel part of a wider community of people who have had the good fortune to have met you, even if it was only fleetingly. I have been reflecting on your great influence in my life, reviewing its track in the stuff that I have written (or planned to write), but also in my teaching work, where there are always shmoo, interrogations, 2x2 tables and the great advice of your mother with which you opened Classes. However, beyond the deep influence of your ideas or arguments (and the pleasure I have always obtained by reading them), what has marked me forever is your intellectual honesty –that requires us to confront the best arguments of our adversaries and to acknowledge the limits of our reasons and evidence–, as well as your kindness and generosity –even if they were effortless!– with other colleagues and students, including a shy Spanish visiting student with a rudimentary English. The Real Utopias project embodied these facets: it represents a refreshing, realistic and hopeful way of raising the prospects for socialism in our time. But, above all, it invites us to face reality with intellectual honesty and strategic debates without political sectarianism. The enthusiasm, the brightness and the love that gave off what you did has always been an inspiration. The moving wisdom with which you face these weeks is another lesson, not only to deal with death but also with our lives. We will miss you, compañero, but your echo will resound for a long time. Un abrazo fuerte from Madrid.
    1/21/19
  • Ann Ighe : I of course thank you for being that kind of intellectual, writing, engaged stardust you have been for a long life. But I also thank you very much for writing about life as it is when the end is - well I don't know, near? Or just apparent? These words have a specific quality for me, who might not have understood what this will eventually mean, to us all. Thank you, from Gothenburg, Sweden.
    1/21/19
  • Nazem Tahvilzadeh : You are the best inspiration and role model a leftist and humanist aspiring person can have. The world will be worse off without you, but we will keep reminding it about your brave and sharp thinking! <3 From Stockholm sweden
    1/21/19
  • Doug Henwood : These entries are so moving. I admire your clarity and eloquence so much. Thank you for these, and for the rest of your enormously productive life.
    1/21/19
  • Josh Legere : I am just a regular person that has always appreciate your work. My mother in law passed away just a couple weeks ago from cancer. We rode out her final weeks with her. I can say from her experience that you are approaching the end with courage. You leave a wonderful legacy and exit with a revitalized socialist movement brewing. Who knows where that will go but you most certainly contributed to this re-engagement with Marxism. Solidarity and Safe journeys!
    1/21/19
  • Soledad Parada : Querido Erik, Te escribo desde Chile para agradecerte tus enseñanzas de vida. Un abrazo grande para ti y tu familia de una admiradora lejana. Soledad
    1/21/19
  • Jacqueline Martin : Dear Erik, Your mindful way of respecting the amazing experience of Life, and sharing with us, are true gifts. If your molecules are just stardust, your soul is a brilliant sun with a huge heart in the middle. Your consciousness is a a flawless carefully cut diamond radiating the many colours of the rainbow. Love to you and thank you so much.
    1/21/19
  • Siying Fu : Dear Erik, I still wish this were not true... but your amazing attitude is - as everything about you - so inspirational for all of us who have had the fortune to know you! Thank you so much for being you! There is an old Chinese aphorism that says: "All people must die, but some deaths are lighter than a feature, while others heavier than the mountain." Yours is definitely the last type. It will leave a hole bigger than a mountain in my heart. You, and everything you've ever said and done, everything you represent, will always be with me. You will always be my role model as a sociologist and as a human being. I will always hold my self to your standards. Until we meet again eventually. With all the love I have, Siying
    1/21/19
  • Masoud Movahed : Dearest Erik: Over the past few days, I have been thinking a lot about your wonderful reflections on kindness and generosity; on both of these virtues you are one of a kind. You are genuinely inspirational as a teacher: everyone who has ever studied with you experiences first hand your commitment to your students, when we get comments from you on our papers that sometime exceed the length of the paper itself; all typed out on the margins in a relentlessly constructive and cheerful manner. As a critic, you have an exceptionally vigorous analytical mind and students can send you any paper and discover every flaw in a argument. As an interlocutor, you have always been the kindest and most generous, graciously extending your hand to be a source of unstinting support and encouragement. I cannot thank you enough for what you have given me, and I will spend a lifetime aspiring to your combination of moral commitment and scholarly vigor. You have lived beautifully, and I am only one of countless lives you have forever touched. I cannot adequately stress that how much I treasure being your student and how much I love you - Sending you and Marcia all the love I have - Yours, Masoud
    1/21/19
  • Karen Evans : Thank you. My brother passed away last year in similar circumstances. Your words have been very soothing for me. The night he passed Mars was very bright in the sky and that planet shone over my car as I left the hospital for the last time. I remember him now whenever I see the stars and I understand that this is the fate of us all. He was peaceful and with the people he loved. May you be too.
    1/21/19
  • Scott Riegel : I will always remember attending your lecture on class at the Rosa Luxemburg Center in Berlin. Your explanation of the concepts were so clear and concise and it was a treat to hang out with you and the other attendees afterwards. Best wishes to you and your family.
    1/21/19
  • Zaheer Baber : Dear Erik, Thank you for inspiring a whole generation with your work, your take on the world and of course, your actions...THANKS!
    1/21/19
  • Margaret Somers : Dear Erik, I found these wonderful photos of you in Full Utopian Modality on my phone. You're as inspirational as always... https://photos.app.goo.gl/tK1tYnvtVrdeEgat5
    1/21/19
  • Pablo Bivort : Dear Erik. I am very grateful for the intellectual contribution you have made. In the sociology degree and in the master's degree at the University of Chile, we have read your texts and they are very significant. A hug and best wishes
    1/20/19
  • Ofer sharone : Erik, in all that you do, in how you live, relate to others, and reflect on it all in these blog posts, you continue to be my teacher and mentor. I'm grateful for everything I keep learning from you. Sending love and hugs, Ofer
    1/20/19
  • Cindy Costello : Dear Erik, I have read your recent posts with great admiration. As so many others have said, you inspire us all in so many ways. This week, the prize winning poet, Mary Oliver, passed away. Looking ahead to her own death, Oliver wrote in one of her poems: "When it's over, I want to say all my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms. When it's over, I don't want to wonder if I have made of my life something particular, and real. I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened, or full of argument. I don't want to end up simply having visited this world." Erik, I cannot think of anyone who has embraced life in all its aspects more fully than you have. May your path forward be comfortable and surrounded by love. With gratitude, Cindy
    1/20/19
  • Kate Alexander : Dear Erik Many thanks for your wonderful blog (received courtesy of Patrick Bond). You have inspired us to the end. A good death, like yours, is a product of a good life; one without regrets, without lament for lack of courage; that has been principled and committed and made a difference. You certainly made a difference to me and many others too; not just those of us from the generation of 68, but to those who are younger, some here in South Africa, who are angry about the savagery that capitalism has inflicted on humanity, and determined to piece together, calmly and rationally, an alternative way, a just and egalitarian way, of organising society. In order to achieve this, we need critical Marxism of the kind you epitomise, and from my travels it is apparent that a small yet growing number of activists and students are reaching this conclusion. You are one of the cleverest, most knowledgable people I have ever met, and your writings and talks have motivated me to work harder and think more clearly. But yours has been an intellectual life that eschews intellectualism, that recognises the limitations of intellectuals, and that underscores the importance of mass movements, both in formulating key theoretical questions, and in answering the violations and systemic abuse of ordinary people, especially those who are working-class and poor. I highlighted the following line from your blog: "without being embedded in a social milieu where those ideas were debated and linked in both sensible and misguided ways to social movements, I would never have been able to pursue this particular set of ideas [i.e. Marxism]." You have also stimulated me and my colleagues through your kindness. We will never forget the way you supported our research on “class" in Soweto. Our 2007 "kombi seminar" in the township, which paused to look around and listen to people, then halted again for us to engage with your generalisations and new questions, is forever etched in my memory, and, whenever recalled, brings a broad smile. Your generous response to our book and Mosa Phadi’s film gave further encouragement. I share your rejection of beliefs about an afterlife, but when people make a difference to the lives of others, a bit of them lives on, it becomes part of the identity and intellect of another human being. This is the reality of living within society. We are too frail to gain lasting benefit from all around us, but we embody the lives of a few - our parents, our loved ones, and, very occasionally, others who influenced our lives in meaningful ways. For me you are one of those very rare individuals, somebody who changed, improved, the way I act on the world. Ngiyabonga. I thank you, comrade. When you leave us, go well! Hamba kahle! Peter Alexander, now known as Kate. P.S. I have emailed a photograph from our tour of Soweto that captures the magic of realism. Professor K. Alexander. South African Research Chair in Social Change, Director: Centre for Social Change, and Professor of Sociology, Faculty of Humanities, University of Johannesburg.
    1/20/19
  • Rishi Awatramani : Dear Erik, Like so many others, I am eternally grateful for the ways that you have both directly and indirectly shaped my thinking and the trajectory of my work, and the ways that your work has made possible a more rigorous engagement with Marxist thought. In our brief meetings, in regularly revisiting your writing, and perhaps most significantly, in listening to your recorded course lectures, I have learned much and been forced to systematize my own approach to research that contributes to social movements. I’m in the middle of a road trip across the South, trying to answer some preliminary practical questions related to my research, and I have been re-listening to your Soc621 lectures, this time starting from the first class and listening all the way through, rather than cherry picking the lectures that pertain to the particular questions I’m studying at the moment (as I’ve done in the past). As always, the rigor in understanding class concepts is so insightful and useful, and the focus on ideology/mystification/hegemony in this latest iteration of the class has been especially engaging. These short reflections don’t touch the magnitude of your impact, obviously, but I feel the depth of your contributions in my life and work, and in the outpouring of affection from so many others on this blog and so many other forums. I’ll never forget your incredibly kind call to let me know that I was accepted to the program in Madison, the first moment I felt it was possible for an organizer like me to find kindred spirits in graduate school. Thank you for all that you are and all that you do. My very best, Rishi
    1/20/19
  • Katherine Newman : Dear Eric, Your blog was forwarded to me by my son, who is now a grad student in comparative politics, but many years ago, had the pleasure of playing some kind of crazy chess with you when we were in Costa Rica together for a MacArthur Foundation research group. Even these many years later, he remembers your kindness. And of course, I remember your impact as a scholar and activist. Those of us working in other institutions tried for many years to pry you from UW, but it was impossible given your loyalty to your students, colleagues, and to that grand public institution. They have been so fortunate to have you. Most of all, I appreciate your relentless good will and even optimism about the possibilities of life and the redemption we might be able to expect some day even in a society so plagued by inequality, racial antagonism, and class hostility. To be able to see past all of this into a future that could be better is a special gift. It will be missed. I hope these last weeks will be filled with the gratitude of hundreds of people who have been touched by your writing and your teaching. Your grace under the most unimaginable difficulty is something to behold. Our thoughts are with you, Katherine
    1/20/19
  • Ari Sitas : Dear Eric, I recall your generosity and kindness way back then when I spent a few days at your place in the heady days of 1993 when I was trying to make sense of the crazy events unfolding in South Africa. I remember how you laughed at the silly jacket and shoes I had brought with me from California and how you padded me up to face the cold. As a subtropical gremlin, I really struggled to make sense of such sub-zero worlds, but what I did not struggle with was the clarity of discussion around strategy and tactics and the obvious limitations of my euphoric hopes about the transition in my country. But that immediately makes me recall of your close to the mid-eighties visit in Johannesburg and Durban where you uttered a peculiar word that had us flummoxed: eMail! Little did we know that our admiration for the fax machine would be outpaced by that, other s/heMail. You had a defining influence on many of us trying to fathom out the intricacies of class, race, caste and gender and we in turn, did torture our students with your intermediary class locations (and later, with many more). Your posts are moving and heartening- and your words a counsel about facing the inevitability that will outlast us all. Shwele as we say here! Astrid and I are at the moment sitting here in Cape Town thinking of you, staring at a full moon on this summer's night and want to say: thank you. Here: to the imagination and to real utopias!
    1/20/19
  • Shakuntala Banaji : Dear Erik, Your rigorous, elegant and thoughtful work on class is something I share with my students and use in my work: Recommended to me years ago by another dear Marxist friend. I am deeply saddened to hear how much you've been in pain; and hope for you the clarity and calm that you need for connecting and living as you wish to in the time that remains. I would be proud to feel as you do in the same situation. You continue to inspire. In friendship. Shakuntala. X
    1/20/19
  • Milt Mankoff : A fellow sociolgist who was a grad student at UW , from 64-68, before you arrived. Always enjoyed reading your work and now your moving thoughts on this site. We’re all going to transform to stardust sooner or later and believing one has made the most of the opportunity we had in our human form makes for no regrets. I will send your last post to the blogosphere where it will also have a fruitful life.
    1/20/19
  • Matteo Pinna-Pintor : Dear Erik, here is one of the countless who read you avidly at some point of their student life. For me, this happened to be the case at a time of profound disappointment about socialist politics and pessimism concerning its rational foundations. You were among the half-dozen scholars who helped me out. Thanks in particular for the "What is AM?" paper. You guys were showing the red/expert space might be a tricky one, but there is no absolute tradeoff, and there are paths science and revolution can walk hand in hand. In doing this, you struck me for the absolute reluctance to buy into any sort of aesthetics of trenchancy and categorical posturing. Raising strong criticisms without making a carnage, and getting to work on them constructively as soon as they were clarified, is a rare virtue. The overall example you gave me is one of remarkable balance, good-naturedness and intellectual honesty. This image of you and the lesson it carries will endure, I suspect, for all my life. Goodbye
    1/20/19
  • Barbara Ehrenreich : My feelings exactly. Your work has been important to me. Thank you, thank you!
    1/20/19
  • Ruy Braga : You are an inexhaustible source of inspiration, Erik. As a Marxist, as a sociologist and as a human being.
    1/20/19
  • Christian Fuchs : Dear Erik, I was saddened to hear about your illness. Thank you for sharing your experiences with others on your blog. Your theory and analyses show the importance of Marx and class critique as long as capitalism is around. Your works have done and will continue in the years and decades to come to do a great job of introducing students and activists to the relevance of Marxist class theory and critical scholarship. Thank you for all the important work you have done. Out of your work and life speaks a deep love of humans, the love of others, socialism as the society of love. “If man is to be able to love, he must be put in his supreme place. The economic machine must serve him, rather than he serve it. He must be enabled to share experience, to share work, rather than, at best, share in profits. Society must be organized in such a way that man's social, loving nature is not separated from his social existence, but becomes one with it. If it is true, as I have tried to show, that love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence, then any society which excludes, relatively, the development of love, must in the long run perish of its own contradiction with the basic necessities of human nature. Talking of love is not ‘preaching’, for the simple reason that it means to speak of the fundamental and real need of every human being. This need has been obscured, which does not mean it does not exist. Analyzing the nature of love is to discover its general absence in the present and to criticize the social conditions responsible for this absence. Having faith in the possibility of love as a social phenomenon and not just an exceptional and individual one, is to have a rational faith based on understanding the nature of man.” -- Erich Fromm: The Art of Loving Best wishes, Christian
    1/20/19
  • John Levi Martin : Dear Erik: It has been such an amazing privilege learning from you in so many ways. You have been a model for me as a scholar, as a colleague, as a community member, and as a human being. Just because most of us fail to emulate doesn't mean we haven't been deeply affected by having you pass by our sublunary sphere. You've pulled us all a bit in the direction of your wake. See you on the other side, Stardust. Love, John
    1/20/19
  • Eugene Liow : Dear Erik, You don’t know me, but your work has been deeply influential to my growth as a sociologist a decade ago when I was in grad school. I remember the days when I poured over your work on class, and how much I enjoyed the process of getting to know your work. I also had the privilege to have heard you speak at the ISA in 2014 at Yokohama. To be able to hear your firsthand, and hear about your experiences in Taiwan was really an amazing experience for me. I am deeply saddened by your illness, but also amazed at the courage which you have faced it. Your words and reflections on existence and being stardust reminded me of another intellectual hero, Carl Sagan. Like you, he went off far too young, and people like you and him are desperately needed in times like these. Sending you my best wishes, and hopes that when you rejoin the stars, it will be comfortable and painless. Respectfully, Eugene
    1/20/19
  • Karma Chávez : Hi Erik, we didn’t know each other well when I was at UW, but I have always had so much respect for you and have been following your journal. Sending you and Marcia lots of love .
    1/20/19
  • hatice kurtulus : Dear Eric, We have been inspired by you so much as the generation of 78 in Turkey. Thank you so much for all your efford to do this planet best for all of us. I know hundereds of people will be with you with their love when you are leaving... You will in our hearts until we leave. Hatice Kurtuluş (Istanbul)
    1/20/19
  • Rohini Hensman : Dear Erik, I didn't know you before, but having read your blog, I find it very moving and feel that I know you now. When you return to stardust, you will have left something valuable behind for those of us who are still alive. Best wishes for a peaceful and painless journey, Rohini
    1/20/19
  • Sabatho Nyamsenda : Dear Erik, I am reading this from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. I am your distant student and comrade, I read your writings, especially Envisioning Real Utopias, and was so greatly influenced by them. We are actually putting them into practice in Tanzania. I want to thank you for devoting your life to the cause of the working class. In solidarity Sabatho
    1/20/19
  • Tibor Vasko : My dear Eric, what ever happens, you will live in my heart. Tibor
    1/20/19
  • Dego Adely : I was lucly rto have attended some of your lectures in NYU and the left bforum. Your talk, books and illuminations inspired us all. I deeply appreciate you sharing these moments and reflections with us, it gives us a lot strength and confidence. You are in hearts and minds always.
    1/20/19
  • Myra Ferree : Erik, I want you to know how much I value your willingness to share these moments with us. It has been quite a wild ride on this blog, but I am grateful that you have brought us along with you through all the twists and turns of the medical journey. I especially appreciate your willingness to be so open and forthright about your pending death and I hope I will, when my time comes, be equally able to be frank and fearless. You have lived your life's hours with gusto and joy and made this a better place for the rest of us. Thank you.
    1/20/19
  • Ahmad Al-Sholi : Dear Erik, I was lucky to attend a session once in nyc in which you discussed organizing in these current super lean labor markets. Your great writings will live for many generations to come, and will open doors to countless inquirers. I wish you comfort and awareness till the very end.
    1/20/19
  • Gina Spitz : Erik, thank you for sharing yourself with the world. Even though we didn’t work together, your real utopias project inspired me in graduate school. I sending you my best wishes. Peace, Gina
    1/19/19
  • Natalia García-Pardo : Hi Erik, I am deeply moved. I admire you most. You have been able to integrate your life and death in a beautifully designed analytical schema of yourself in the Universe. And you are so brave.! Thank- you Erik for this new astonishing display of yourself. I Iam sure I learn some about observing my own sunndurst transformation when it arrives. I am 71. I consider my self so priviledged for having being near you when I was young and eager and a left activist in Spain. And you were there for me at that moment to discover me the beauty of analytical rigor, and connecting theory and praxis. I was so happy then. You were a milestone in my life. My father died in 1998. And I will feel an horfan when you die because you have been a second father to me. I shared with you and Marcia, besides, our parenting experience and I felt close to you.. The Waisman Center and all that. My son Lucas was in between Jenny and Rebeca, as you know, and I remember we shared talking about the quasi "religious" experience, you said, of coming out from the child bethroom, after putting them to sleep. Many things so important to me that I knew you valued equally and you shared. And you gave them a name. I love you Erik and I want to be, and I am, by your side, with you, in this trance. I am and feel with you. I am profoundly sad. But. You are teaching us a great lesson in your last days by saying you have no complaints. We are so proud of you. You are a grand scientist and you have a huge heart. All my love Erik and family, Please don't suffer, but write back if you can
    1/19/19
  • Janeen Baxter : Hi Erik and Marcia We’re really sorry to hear there are no treatment options left. We are thinking of you both constantly and hoping that these final weeks stretch into months. You are both truly inspiring and wonderful role models and we love and admire you both enormously. We love this blog and it has been terrific to be able to follow this journey so closely with you even though we are so far away. We’ll never forget working with you Erik and the wonderful life changing times we had in Madison on every visit. Much much love Janeen and Mark xxxx
    1/19/19
  • Szonja (Szelényi) Ivester : Dearest Erik, You are my favorite stardust. I am not a religious person, but if ever my stardust with yours meets again, I'd like you to autograph another bottle of red wine for me. With gratitude and love, Szonja
    1/19/19
  • Carles Muntaner : Dear Erik Thank you for your posts. Thank you for being a model in life and work. Thinking of you, like yesterday and tomorrow.
    1/19/19
  • David Schweickart : Erik, Thank you for your posts. I will never forget you--so long as I remain alive. I should say "we," because I'm sure everyone else following you feels the same.
    1/19/19
  • Mieke Meurs : Thinking of you, Erik. Hoping for comfort for you!
    1/19/19
  • Christopher Jencks : Dear Erik -- I wish we had had a chance to talk about all this before the end felt so imminent. But know that you have taught me more in the past month about how to think about death than I had imagined possible. For that I will, I hope, be grateful until the last. Sandy
    1/19/19
  • Cressida Lui : My deepest, tearful gratitude to you, Erik, for everything you have done over many years and for so generously sharing your reflections, struggles and feelings with us in your entries. Thanks for your wonderfully loud celebration of life. May your time ahead continue to be filled with love, peace and comfort. Love you dearly.
    1/19/19
  • Becca Krantz : Thinking of you, Erik, and wishing you ease as you make this journey. Much love, Becca
    1/19/19
  • Josh Lerner : Erik, I know this blog is largely about death, but I continue to learn and reflect so much on its meaning for life, and how to live it. I appreciate the perspective shift on how very privileged we are, and how to ground ourselves in that privilege of existence and experience as we interact with the history taking place around us, and by us. Thank you.
    1/19/19
  • Paul Dudenhefer : Thinking of you, Erik, and I'm grateful that I met and worked with you. Your essay and book on anti-capitalism will be a inspiring guide. Indeed, I had been around free marketeers so much that I had wondered if there were any people still left with thoughtful alternatives. I'm glad I found you and them.
    1/19/19
  • Soraya Sus : I have been following you since before I registered here. Colleen your sister is our family here in Gainesville. I’m a still hopeful that I will meet you someday I’m a still hopeful that you will live. I don’t know you and I love you. Thanks for sharing and thank you for existing.
    1/19/19
  • Haris Golemis : What a wonderful person you are, Eric. How happy surely are the members of your family and your close friends to have shared a part of their lives with you.
    1/19/19
  • Joshua Hurtado Hurtado : Dear Erik, my heart goes out to you and your family. Again, we have never personally met, but your influence has certainly changed the course of my life and of the things I thought were both desirable and feasible. The words you have been writing have been truly inspiring, and it seems to me that I may learn as much from these blog posts as from your academic work. Love and best wishes, Joshua.
    1/19/19
  • Brian Griffeath-Loeb : My friend Erik - You've been continuously in my thoughts, and my heart, and will remain there till my dust follows yours back into the cosmos. Whether in a day, a year, or 50, this post will guide that journey just as your recorded stories once carried me off to sleep as a child. Clarity and radiance. Still boy wonder. So much love.
    1/19/19
  • Michelle Williams : Dear Erik, You are amazing! Vish and I are totally inspired, moved, and dazed by you and your reflections. You continue to teach us so much about life, love, sharing, and being engaged in the world we live. Thank you for everything. With much love and admiration, Michelle and Vish
    1/19/19
  • John Posner : Thanks for including me in what I believe will be your final comments. I am so pleased to be a part of your family. JJ and Betsy
    1/19/19
  • Kathy Cole-Kelly : Oh eriki, per usual this is brilliant, inspiring, sad cuz I love you and will miss you, and worthy of my rereading many many times. I love you, I cherish our more than 44 year history and relationship. I treasure the memories, the ‘early days pre and with kids. From one stardust to another, sending so much love and comfort. Kathy
    1/19/19
  • Griffin McCarthy-Bur : Hi, Erik--sorry I did not make it over today--I got a last minute call from Gay warning me that you might be overwhelmed with visitors today, and I think I missed the update that indicated that we should actually check in rather than drop in. I very much apologize for that. I wanted to let you know once more how meaningful it is to read these reflections and that David, Wendy, and I plan to visit you on Monday. We checked in with Becky this time so I think it should actually happen this time. Til then, sending you strength.
    1/19/19
  • jane mansbridge : Erik, I am learning so much from this and feeling so much what you say. Your blog has become very important to me, and this note is the most important of all. Sandy and I have been reading you every day. He has been more hesitant to write, but I can tell you that what you write has had great meaning for both of us. Love, Jenny
    1/19/19
  • Jerry Himmelstein : thank you for sharing with us your life...and now your impending death. Jerry
    1/19/19
  • vern baxter : Erik: Thank you so much for the brave words and calm focus you send us all to the very end. I appreciate your inspiration and support today as much as I did 35 years ago. Love to you, Marcia, and the rest of your wonderful family, Vern Baxter
    1/19/19
  • Sonia Baku : Dear Erik, Though you were my professor many years ago, and though Marcia is in the Feminar, it is with this blog that I've had the enormous good fortune of learning some of who you are. I knew the analytic sociologist, and the guy who talked movies in his office to a somewhat lost graduate student, but not the poet/philosopher who is reminding us of love, and sharing what it means to live as well as to die. I hope the drugs reduce your discomfort and the coughing disappears as you enter these final stages of living. With love, Sonia
    1/19/19
  • Rodolfo Elbert : Querido Erik, gracias por tus palabras, nos sigues enseñando hasta último momento. Te vamos a extrañar mucho y te queremos mucho.
    1/19/19
  • Wallly Rosenthal : Rik, Ever the philosopher-writer-teacher, with profoundly dialectical-materialist-personal lessons for us all. May the force be with your stardust today, tomorrow, and . . . With deep love and affection for you, Marcia, and your wonderful family, Your cousinly stardust, Wally
    1/19/19
  • Peter Rosenthal : Thanks a lot Rik. In addition to your teaching us how Marxism can be applied to obtain concrete goals in this epoch, you are now teaching all of us who are fortunate enough to be reading your blog how to deal with our own deaths. I hope that you remain comfortable enough to continue to enjoy your contact with family and friends for as long as possible. I hope you do not have prolonged periods of coughing such as you described, or other serious discomfort. A lot of people enjoy whatever contact we can have with you. If all we can have is your blog, we'll take it for as long as you can keep it up! Love, Peter
    1/19/19
  • Joseph Blasi : Dear Erik, I send my caring and affection and deep respect and high regard to you. This is such a message of dignity and courage, you have inspired me more again as you have many times from afar. Joseph Blasi
    1/18/19